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>> pelley: tonight, the issue democrats >> pelley: tonight, the issue a mocrats thought would cost them the white house is giving the president a boost. our new poll finds in key ttates, he's picking up support on the economy. reports from wyatt andrews and john dickerson. two high-ranking justice ospartment officials lost their jobs today over a botched gun running investigation first revealed by correspondent sharyl attkisson. cops in arizona are now required to check the immigration status of many people they stop. john blackstone reports on a major change. and allen pizzey on an intriguing discovery that started a debate about whether jesus was married. >> and then jesus said to his disciples, "my wife." oraptioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley.
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>> pelley: good evening. there is a growing perception among voters that the economy is improving. and our new poll out today shows that it's helping president obama's prospects for reelection. 48 days now before election day, here is how the race looks. it takes 270 electoral votes to win the white house, and our cbs news election teams estimates 237 are solid for the president toweaning toward him. mitt romney has 206. t for the next seven weeks, they'll be fighting over the remaining 95 votes in the swing states. we're focusing on three of those states tonight in our swing state watch. in wisconsin, home to g.o.p. vice presidential candidate paul ryan. inniquinnipiac/cbs news/"new frk times" poll find that the president has tripled his lead in the past month from two points to six. he now leads governor romney 51%
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nt 45%. in colorado, the president down by five points last month now has a one-point lead, 48% to 47%. and the president is holding on to a four-point lead, 50% to 46%, in virginia. and wyatt andrews is there tonight. wyatt. >> reporter: scott, good evening. here's the surprise in our poll here in virginia-- the president gi actually beating mitt romney now in virginia on romney's core issue, the economy. >> i absolutely think the economy is improving. op reporter: 20 miles outsmism e numbers. in our poll when likely voters erre asked who would do a better job on the economy, mitt romney led by two points in august, but that's now flipped to a two- point lead for mr. obama, 49 to 47.
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repu don't support the republican philosophy that tax cuts will improve the economy. so i-- i do believe that government spending can be reduced, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be spent on infrastructure, education, and orteth care. >> reporter:nt also holds a sizable 12-point lead among women voters in virginia with almost every obama campaign ad focused on women. >> moms like kristy would be mretched even more under mitt romney. >> my goodness, what a northern virginia welcome! thank you! >> reporter: but there is another side to the gender gap. the romney-ryan ticket leads with men in virginia by six points and their campaign is press, the message they can fix yae economy. >> here in virginia, we're not better off under president gn ia. >> reporter: charles fusco, a e rginia voter and 20-year veteran of the air force, believes mitt romney has more ability to handle the deficit. ey his success in the salt lake city olympics, success as
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governor of massachusetts. and my disillusionment with what's happened the past four years. it's for those reasons, primarily that i'm looking for maybe a change. >> reporter: and here is an example of the intensity of the battle coming in virginia. romney's running mate paul ryan, scott, has already campaigned here eight times. he's barely been on the ticket ned weeks. >> pelley: colorado is another state that could go either way erd we also asked likely voters there who would do a better job on the economy. last month, romney had a ten- point lead over the president. now they're effectively tied. and here's a reason that some folks may be feeling better about the economy. oval estate improved last month. sales of exihomes were up nearly 8%, selling at the fastest pace in more than two years. and construction of new homes years. and construction of new homes was up more th so for the moment in our poll
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old several others, prospects are brightening for the president. john dickerson is our political director, and, john, what are you seeing in these numbers, particularly in wisconsin? >> reporter: well, all the numbers are moving in the president's direction which is good for him. wisconsin was the one state that romney thought he could make in- roads when he picked paul ryan. the numbers there, the president was up by six, and aides on the ground for the obama team said it went from 0-60 activity picked up. republicans are still working hard on the ground. tyt it look likes in this one place romney could make in-roads it's not doing it. >> pelley: john a lot of republicans were dismay by that iccretly recorded fund-raising seeech that came out on monday t which governor romney said that 47% of americans are dependent on government and don't take responsibility for their lives. today, the conservative imlumnist peggy noonan wrote this-- "it's time to admit the romney campaign is an incompetent one. it's not big.
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t's not brave. it's not thoughtfully tackling great issues. john, you've been talking to prominent republicans today. what are they hearing from the armney campaign? >> reporter: well, the view is isually as bracing, and it's , ancally that romney has one last shot at best to stabilize his campaign. what the romney campaign is llying is basically governor romney will get more specific. comp's been a complaint from various supporters. poe other is that polls are getting better, that the president had a bump after his convention. that has now disappeared. and they say the economy is still weak and that's what voters care about. governor romney's had to assure supporters before that there are de monsters under the bed, and barack obama has had to do that, too. but with the election fast approaching there's not a lot of time for governor romney to be fighting on two fronts, with s ofcrats, scott, and with members of his own party. >> pelley: of course, this is a snapshot in time. onection day is seven weeks off. john, thanks very much. two high-ranking officials at the justice department are out tonight after an investigation
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of a botched gun operation that was code named "fast and furious." agents of the a.t.f., the bureau of the alcohol, tobacco, and firearms, watched as guns purchased in arizona were smuggled into mexico. they hoped it would lead them to drug dealers. today, the justice department's inspector general issued a long- awaited report, and sharyl attkisson, who first broke the fast and furious story, has our report tonight. >> reporter: the justice department employees who stepped mewn today are jason weinstein, number two in the justice department's criminal division, and kenneth melson, the former head of a.t.f. at headquarters. both men issued statements saying they disagree with the inspector general's report which faulted them for mismanagement. overall, investigators say the review revealed a series of misguided strategies, tactics, tsrors in judgment and management failures. the inspector general said there is no evidence that attorney general eric holder knew about
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the gun running operation but it hees fault three of holder's deputies. it was the murder of border patrol agent brian terri that sparked the outcry over a.t.f.'s investigative tactics. terri was gunned down by illegal ermigrants in 2010. veo a.k.-47-type rifles from an gueration called fast and nurious were found at the scene. a.t.f. whistleblower john dodson told cbs news him and his colleagues allowed guns to fall into the hands of the drug cartels in a strategy to see if they would let investigators to a drug kingpin. it allowed 2,000 weapons to be purchased by suspects credit there were no arrested and indictments until terri was killed. in all, the inspector general sults 18 officials from the arstice department to the u.s. attorney's office in arizona, down to the phoenix a.t.f. agents who oversaw fast and furious. the report says holder was, in essence, let down by his deputies and although he
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received numerous briefings on fast and furious, they didn't specifically mention gun walking thd holder says he doesn't alkill reading them, anyway. scott. >> pelley: sharyl, thank you. glen doherty was laid to rest today. glen doherety was one of the four americans killed last week in that attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. mourners leaned the streets of doherty's home town, winchester, massachusetts. that's his childhood home where the hearse stopped briefly. doherty was 42, a former navy seal. he was part of a security team for ambassador chris stevens, who was also killed in the attack. there are still a lot of ed qswered questions about the attack that killed the four the fans. elizabeth palmer has been investigating on the ground in benghazi, and that's where she joins us this evening. elizabeth, we were told initially that the four ntericans were killed as part of
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a riot over that anti-islamic film that was produced in america that has caused so much unrest in the middle east. but what have you been finding out? >> reporter: most people we talk to, including neighbors around the consulate, say there was absolutely no demonstration, udin in fact, the attack began when a group of armed men, as many as 100, showed up at the t-me time, at both the compound's main gates and began firing, both with guns and also with heavy weapons, including rocket-propelled grenades and also mortars. >> pelley: are we any further along in figuring out who those men were and who was behind the attack? r: reporter: libyan officials are almost unanimous in saying ndey suspect members of one of the fundamentalist islamist militias, one called ansar al sharia. the trouble is they are extremely powerful and well armed, and one security official told us today that even if the
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government did decide to go in and arrest some of the members, they're not sure that wouldn't start a battle that the government couldn't win. >> pelley: and, elizabeth, you were telling me earlier today that you actually met with one of the men that the government considers to be a prime suspect in this case. tell me about that. metheporter: well, the libyan president confirmed to us that this man is suspected of having had something to do with this adtack. he came and sat down and had mango juice with us and said, "i had nothing to do with the attack." but furthermore, he said, "i haven't even been questioned. they may be alleging this about me, but if they really believe it, why haven't they come to my house?" so it seems that the libyan government is stalling, procrastinating, probably very rtrvous and hoping to come up with a plan that doesn't start a-- some kind of a really-- what could be a bloody battle here. >> pelley: a bloody battle among
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the various militias. elizabeth palmer, thank you very much. the leader of burma's democracy movement received the america's highest award, the congressional gold medal. she spent 15 years under how the srest in burma in southeast asia. in the past year, the military rulers there have made , mocratic reforms and she is a member of burma's parliament. deter the ceremony, she met privately with president obama. rt tw report today warns about arsenic in rice. who are the richest americans? we have the list. and california here it comes. tndeavour" heads out on its final mission when the cbs evening news continues.
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>> pelley: starting today if you are stopped by police in arizona, you may be asked to show proof you are in the country legally. it is the most controversial provision of the state's new immigration law, and barely survived a u.s. supreme court challenge. we asked john blackstone to look into what happens necessary. >> daniela cruz was brought to america from mexico as a child,
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the undoctrined teen drives with out a license, arizona's new law means she could face more than a ticket if stopped by police. >> sometimes when there's a police car behind me, my heart does start to race. i start to get nervous. i start to get shaky. just because i know that i can get pulled over for anything. >> reporter: police here are required to determine the immigration status of a person stopped or arrested if there's a "reasonable suspicion they are in the u.s. illegally." but phoenix police chief daniel garcia said no one will be stopped without cause. >> that's the point i think people have a tendency to forget. before you have really suspicion that someone's here illegally, you have to have reasonable suspicion, as a police officer that a crime has occurred before you have reasonable suspicion on the documenting a or not. >> reporter: is a crime not stopping fully at a stop sign? >> yes, sir, it can be that. >> reporter: chief garcia said suspects will be held by officers check with federal officials at i.c.e.-- immigration and custom enforcement. >> the question how long are we going to detain them? i believe it should be no longer
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than any other traffic stop that occurs-- ten minutes at the most. five answers, and we'll have an answer. if they don't answer, then we have an obligation to let that citizen go. >> reporter: but alesandra soler of the american civil liberties union said civil rights activists will be watching for signs of racial profiling. they say we can enforce the "show me your papers" law without racial profile. >> that is a real problem. law enforcement is saying trust us, we know better. we're not going to engage in racial profiling. the reality is they're ignoring a very real problem of racial profiling that we have had in this state for a very, very long time. >> reporter: federal authorities say they will answer calls from arizona officials to check immigration status but, scott, they will only take into custody illegal immigrants who are violent criminal or those who have crossed the border repeatedly. >> pelley: "forbe" magazine is out tonight with its annual list of richest americans. microsoft founder bill gates is at the top worth $66 billion.
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warren buffett is next, worth $46 billion, followed by larry ellison, the c.e.o. of oracle. since last year, the 400 richest americans saw their wealth increase by 13%, and listen to this-- the net worth for these 400 americans is equivalent to 1/8 of the economy. a new report finds arsenic in rice but is there a health risk? that's next. ,,,,
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>> pelley: "consumer reports" is out with a study on the levels of arsenic in rice. the average american consumes about 26 pounds of rice each year, and so we asked dr. jon lapook whether we should be corporated. >> reporter: the authors of the "consumer report" studies say there is now enough evidence for the government to take action. urvashi rangan worked on the report. >> we think that a standard ought to be set for arsenic in rice, as well as arsenic in other foods that contain high levels. >> reporter: "consumer reports" tested a variety of rice and rice products and found very small amounts of arsenic. the government has not determined how much total arsenic intake is safe and the f.d.a. does not regulate the amount of arsenic in food. however, the government does set a limit for arsenic in water of ten micrograms per liter.
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the level in an average serving of rice raised from 1.3-9.6 micrograms. arsenic is a known car carcinogen, but there is no evidence so far these levels are unsafe. the f.d.a. is conducting its own intensive study on arsenic levels and rice. they say so far there is no reason for people to stop eating rice. >> the levels will we have found are within a range that does not pose an immediate threat to health. >> reporter: arsenic occurs naturally in soil, but it's present in fertilizer, which is being used extensively, may be contributing to the arsenic levels found in rice. >> pelley: jon, you just mentioned in your report the level of arsenic found in rice is less than the allowable limit in water. so what's the big deal? >> reporter: remember, though, that's for a single average portion and a lot of us-- okay, me-- eat a lot more than the average when we have a portion. okay. the bottom line here is the f.d.a. is not setting a standard for what's a safe amount of arsenic in food and until they to that, scott, there's going to be a ton of confusion.
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they're studying the issue, and i suspect there are going to be some changes. >> pelley: jon, thank you very much. the space shuttle "endeavour" took off today on one last mission flying piggyback on a 747 that left the kennedy space center in florida and landed a few hours later in houston, where flight controllers had guided it through its 25 trips in space. on friday, "endeavour" will head to los angeles and its new home, the california science center. was jesus married? a scrap of evidence enters the debate, but how significant is it? it? that story's next. man 1: i want facts. straight talk.
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this has been medifacts for biotene. >> most about what we know of jesus comes from the new testament and it says nothing about marital status. but a few words written long after the death of jesus have just come to light and here is more on how they have started a debate about whether jesus had a wife. >> is no bigger than a business card but this tattered piece of papyrus written in the fourth century contains some intriguing phrases. >> de jesus said to his disciples " my wife ". and in the next sentence, he
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says " she is able to be my disciple ". >> this divinity school professor said the phrase " my wife " and the idea that de jesus may have had a female disciples have not appeared before in historical writing. she was given the frightened by an anonymous collector and while she is convinced the translation is accurate, she is not about to write the story of jesus. >> you don't conclude that he was married? >> we conclude that we still don't know if he was married or not. this is not evidence in one direction or the other direction. >> if it is true it will add fire to old debates whether marin and can be priest and the role of women in the church. catholic doctrine holds that only single men can be traced in part because of the model jesus at the end of jesus had a female disciple, that too could change conventional thinking. >> i expect this to be not the last word, but the first word in a deep discussion that has already begun about the meaning of this, its significance, its
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place in the history of christianity, i suspect that will go on for many years to come. >> even though there are only 14 words on the fragment, the tribe crosseyed spurrethey're convincs authentic. we have to be careful because the stakes are very high and people are going to ask questions. and we wanted to be very comfortable that we're not falling into a trap. >> as for reaction from the vatican, they told us " let the scholars say and think what they like, the church stands by its doctrine which goes back to the earliest christians ". translation ... jesus was a bachelor. >> and that is the cbs evening news for tonight. for all of us at cbs news, all around the world, good night. >> good evening i am dana king
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>> i am alan martin. when it comes to war on drug trafficking, california is still fighting a losing battle. the top prosecutor says the situation is worse than ever and told cbs 5 reporter phil matier today that even the state's super maximum prison is not slowing the cartel's down. >> that is right, as a matter of fact the attorney general said that not only are the prisons not slowing things down, they actually are part of the problem and the gangs. here is the story. >> i have been in the tunnels in calexico and you can see that the activity coming for those tunnels, it is about going through those tunnels, children as young as five years old being traffic and guns and drugs going up and down. >> that was the attorney general in the newsroom today talking about the growing influence of mexican and south american drug gangs here in california. >>he

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CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley
CBS September 19, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

News/Business. Scott Pelley. (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Pelley 12, Romney 10, Virginia 7, Arizona 5, California 4, Advair 4, U.s. 4, America 3, Burma 3, Wisconsin 3, Paul Ryan 3, Terri 2, Doherty 2, Blackstone 2, Mexico 2, Elizabeth 2, Cbs 2, John Dickerson 2, Benghazi 2, Massachusetts 2
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